A Coach's Insight | Tasmanian Football Club
Chris Fagan

A Coach's Insight

Alister Nicholson

03 June 2024

The coach of the Brisbane Lions Chris Fagan has applauded the Tasmania Football Club for the appointment of Brendon Gale as its inaugural chief executive.

Gale, who describes himself as a child of the north west coast, will take up the role next year bringing to an end a highly successful 15-year tenure as chief of the Richmond Football Club.

“If there is one person you would go after as a CEO it would be Brendon,” Fagan said.

“He’s done a brilliant job at Richmond… making them successful and a big club again because they were in the wilderness for a long time and he led the charge on that.

“He’s very well qualified to set up the team but on top of that, he is a Tasmanian so he’s got a bit of skin and blood in the whole thing, which I think makes a difference.”

The launch of the Tasmania Football Club and naming of the side as the Devils back in March was the source of great pride for Fagan, who grew up in Queenstown and is a former Tasmanian representative player.

“My Mum, who is well into her eighties, went to the launch of the Devils,” Fagan said.

“She sent me a photo and that’s just a reflection that it means a lot to a lot of people in Tasmania.

“Having their own AFL team, having a fantastic stadium built close to the city in Hobart that everybody in Tasmania can get to and enjoy not just footy but probably other things that will now come to the state.”

Fagan, who is in his eighth year as coach of the Lions and came despairingly close to a premiership last season, believes the Tasmania Football Club will become a force relatively quickly.

“Hopefully it won’t take long and they’ll become a good team and there’s a chance they’re going to win an AFL premiership, how about that!”

He believes Tasmania’s rich tradition in the game and history of producing champion players will hold the club in good stead.

“Hopefully most of those guys now don't to have to move away from home and can get to represent their state on the big stage… It’s got to be exciting for the young players down there at grassroots level to sort of feel that they’ve got a team right on their doorstep and that AFL footy’s not that far away,” he said.

“You’re talking about coaches here, you’re talking about physiotherapists, psychologists, welfare people... That’s just going to open up so many opportunities for people in Tasmania with great qualifications and when they stop doing it they will probably go back to club land and build that knowledge through the clubs so the local competition becomes stronger as well.”